Considering I was raised to never talk to strangers and assume that everyone online was a paedophile, I’ve got a surprising number of internet friends.
You know exactly what I’m talking about – people who you meet through Twitter or blogging (or maybe even msn if you’re old and gross like me) who just get you. You have so many things in common, and you feel like you’ve known them for years. Whatsapp is probably the lifeblood of your friendship, and if you ever meet them you’ll definitely shout ‘THAT’S NOT WHAT I THOUGHT YOU’D SOUND LIKE’.
Yep, internet friends are totally amazing, but I sometimes feel like they don’t get the recognition they deserve. It’s almost as if they’re looked down on by other people, like they aren’t worthy of being called friends, when in fact they are just as valid.
Because you meet internet friends through similar hobbies, I feel like they’re able to understand and support you in a way that your other friends sometimes can’t. I just know that my internet friends are going to be liking my Instagram photos as soon as I post, and sympathising with me when I struggle with writer’s block. They’re your own personal cheerleaders for the things which other people don’t always think are important, and it’s incredibly uplifting.
Now obviously, our IRL friends are the bees knees and we’d all be lost without them. But that’s the best thing about internet friendships – they become just as important as all the others.
Friendship isn’t something that can be defined by space or time. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone you see a couple of times a year, or someone you’ll never see face to face. Whether you’ve known them for 20 years, or just 2 months. What matters is the in-jokes and the nicknames you have, and enjoying each other’s company.
So here’s to all our internet friends, because internet friends are real friends, too.